Canada VS Meta: Prioritising Profits Over Safety

TECH DIGEST- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized Meta on Monday, accusing the Facebook parent company of prioritizing profits over safety during a period of devastating wildfires that have compelled tens of thousands to evacuate their residences.

Trudeau’s remarks reflect the latest governmental rebuke directed at Meta. This month, Meta initiated a news block on its Facebook and Instagram platforms for all Canadian users, in response to a newly introduced law mandating that internet giants compensate news outlets for their articles.

Long before this move, Meta had indicated that the Online News Act posed challenges to its business model, given that it assigned a monetary value to links shared by users. As a preemptive measure, Meta imposed the news ban ahead of the anticipated law enforcement by the end of this year.

READ ALSO: Somalia Bans TikTok, Telegram 

In a  press conference held in Prince Edward Island, Trudeau stated, “Facebook is prioritizing corporate profits over people’s safety,” deeming the company’s actions as “unbelievable.” Last week, federal Liberal cabinet ministers also criticized the ban as reckless and irresponsible. Individuals fleeing the wildfires expressed frustration through local media, claiming that the ban hindered their ability to share vital information about the ongoing fires.

Amid Canada’s worst wildfire season on record, the past week has witnessed blazes wreak havoc in the western provinces of British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

Trudeau emphasized, “It’s time for corporations like Facebook, which amass billions of dollars from Canadians, to meet higher expectations.” He made this statement in Cornwall, Prince Edward Island.

In response, a spokesperson from Meta stated that Canadians continue to utilize their platforms to interact within their communities and access information, including content from government agencies, emergency services, and non-governmental organizations.

As of the previous Friday, more than 45,000 individuals had employed Facebook’s “Safety Check” feature to confirm their safety status.